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Philly Gay Bash Victims Speak Out For the First Time Since Attack: VIDEO

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At a "Love Over Hate" rally at the Bucks County Courthouse Wednesday, the two men brutally attacked during last month's gay bashing in Center City, Philadelphia spoke out for the first time via a statement read by organizers, The Intelligencer reports:

“Everyone keeps saying that they are sorry this happened to us. But the truth is, we’re sorry. We feel sorry for our attackers — people who believed it was OK, cool, maybe even funny, to use two innocent individuals as their punching bags and not even have the decency to apologize. Words are powerful. A simple, I’m sorry, would’ve went a long way with us ...

“You butchered my boyfriend’s beautiful face. You violated our rights. You jeopardized our health and safety in a city that we love and during a time where so much progress around human rights has been made. ... We are also determined to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else again.”

The men said they haven’t released their identity because the story is not about them, but everyone who lives in fear. They called for passage of a hate crime bill in Pennsylvania. “It stops here. It stops today. It stops now.”

SuspectsKevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams, the three Bucks County residents charged in the anti-gay assault, will face preliminary hearings in court December 16. 

Said Caryn Kunkle, a friend of the gay couple [pictured speaking above]:

We really want change in Bucks County. We want to be known as a place for equality and togetherness.

Check out video from the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier today, we reported on the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee's meeting yesterday on amending the state's hate crimes statutes to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

[photo via Facebook]

Continue reading "Philly Gay Bash Victims Speak Out For the First Time Since Attack: VIDEO" »


Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee Holds Hearing on LGBT Hate Crimes Laws

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The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing on LGBT hate crimes Thursday - with lawmakers, advocates, and concerned citizens weighing in on the ongoing efforts to amend the state's hate crimes statues to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

CBS Philly reports:

Sims“We have an uphill battle in this legislative climate to pass LGBT hate crimes laws,” said State representative Brian Sims [pictured right].

Sims called the hearing, which was held at the Kimmel Center. He told dozens who sat in the audience the goal is to build a record to support an amendment that would add sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to the state’s hate crime statute.

Victims, experts, and LGBT leaders testified. Alicia Gonzolez of GALEAI says LGBT people are disproportionately targeted:

“Many gay bashing crimes are unsolved and many more are unnoticed.”

Earlier this week, we reported that a December court date was set for the three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Center City, Philly that catalyzed these efforts to amend the state's hate crimes laws.  

[photo via Twitter]


December Court Date Set For Three Charged in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO

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The three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in City Center, Philadelphia will not face a preliminary hearing in court until December 16, according to NBC 10 News. 

The defendants, 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott, and 24-year-old Philip Williams, are accused of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy. The December court date was granted because attorneys for the accused “requested more time before [the] preliminary hearing”: 

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb078c5a13970d-300wiPolice accuse the two men and a suburban police chief's daughter with taking part in an assault that left one man with a wired jaw.

Despite the charges they face, the suspects -- through their attorneys -- insist the gay couple instigated the fight when one of them threw the first punch, and that gay bashing was not the motive

"With respect to my client, he was not the aggressor," said Fortunato Perri, an attorney for Williams. "[He] did not initiate anything and only became involved in the incident after one of the purported victims in the case punched one of the girls in the face."

Despite the defendants’ claim that they were not the instigators, reports have abounded that the fight was preceded by homophobic slurs hurled against the victims by the defendants. You’ll also recall the social media sleuthing done by activist Scott Wooledge who dug into accused attacker Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account and found a history of homophobic remarks. 

The accused attackers have all been released on bail. They will not face hate crimes charges as Pennsylvania law does not offer hate crime protections on the basis of sexual orientation. However, that may be about to change if State Rep. Brian Sims and State Sen. Jim Ferlo have their way.

Watch a news report on the latest update out of Philadelphia, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "December Court Date Set For Three Charged in Philly Gay Bashing: VIDEO" »


Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO

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Police in New York have arrested and charged two men and a teenage boy with menacing, third-degree hate crime and assault in the first degree after they chased and shot at a gay man in Brooklyn on Saturday night, reports NY Daily News.

The victim, who was dressed as a woman at the time of the attack, was walking with a friend near M.J. Beauty Salon on the corner of Putnam Ave. and Broadway in Bushwick at about 7 a.m. when he was attacked by Cody Sigue, 22, Matthew Smith, 21, and Tavon Johnson, 17.

According to police, the attackers screamed profanities and anti-gay slurs at the pair. The attackers then opened fire and shot the victim in the rear.

Johnson and Sigue were charged with menacing and third-degree hate crime, while Smith was charged with assault in the first degree. Johnson and Sigue each have one prior arrest while Smith has "an extensive arrest history," with 14 arrests including robbery.

Local resident Daquan Ruddock said:

“[It] shows how gay people can’t walk around in the street without someone saying something or doing something towards them. It’s sad.”

Watch an NBC New York report on the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this month, police investigating an anti-gay hate crime in Philadelphia were assisted by the public who used Twitter to track down the attackers.

Continue reading "Three Arrested In Connection with Anti-Gay Attack, Shooting In Brooklyn: VIDEO" »


PA Rep. Brian Sims Joins Hundreds Rallying in Philly Urging Lawmakers to Pass LGBT Hate Crimes Bill: VIDEO

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At a rally in LOVE Park, Philadelphia today, over 300 people showed up to voice their support for a legislation working its way through the Pennsylvania Legislature that would add LGBT protections to the state's hate crimes laws. 

Joined by openly gay Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, supporters carried various signs, including those reading "Bash One of Us, Bash All of Us" and "Dear Hate, This Is #Knottyourcity" (in reference to Katheryn Knott - one of the alleged perpetrators in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Philly)

Said Sims:

"There are some in Harrisburg who object to restoring sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the hate-crime law. But they haven't been calling for repeal of the law's remaining protections, for victims targeted because of their race, color, religion or national origin -- they know they would take a political hit for that. Unfortunately, they think there's no political penalty or constituent outrage to face for leaving out women, LGBT people, or people targeted because of their ancestry or mental or physical disability. Pennsylvanians who don't like this injustice need to let their state representative and senator know now."

Check out video from today's rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Intelligencer adds:

KunkleAttendees also gained a few insights about the gay men who were allegedly assaulted, after a friend spoke to the crowd on their behalf. Caryn Kunkle, a volunteer for the Roslyn Fire Co. who wore her uniform at the rally, referred to the victims as “Friend A” and “Friend B” and said the two are a couple.

“They are adorable together, and I love them for who they are,” Kunkle said.

Kunkle added that the first victim was an IT professional who was also once a volunteer firefighter in Abington, and that the second was a culinary artist. She told the crowd that the Sept. 11 incident occurred when “a group of young people came to my city,” and “initiated a conversation with my friends by asking 'Is that your f-ing boyfriend?'

“That conversation quickly devolved into a nationally broadcast incident,” Kunkle said.

In a statement read by Kunkle, the alleged victims said they had been called homophobic slurs by their assailants and were still recovering from the attack, but that they had appreciated the outpouring of support from the Philadelphia community.

Rep. Sims is also organizing a public hearing of the state House Democratic Policy Committee next Thursday on the issue of LGBT hate crimes.

And as expected, Philadelphia City Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jim Kenney introduced a city-wide hate crimes bill protecting LGBT citizens earlier today, with Brown saying the bill had "unanimous" support from council. 

(Photo via Twitter)

Continue reading "PA Rep. Brian Sims Joins Hundreds Rallying in Philly Urging Lawmakers to Pass LGBT Hate Crimes Bill: VIDEO" »


Raw Video of Philly Gay Bash Suspects Leaving Police Station After Posting Bail: VIDEO

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A news clip we posted earlier this morning had some footage of Kathryn Knott, Philip Williams, and Kevin Harrigan, the three suspects charged in the brutal assault on a gay couple two weeks ago in Philadelphia, as they left the police station after posting bail.

Here is some longer footage of the perp walks, or runs, as the case may be.

While Knott and her companions wore hoodies and lunged into a waiting SUV, Williams and Harrigan were asked if they had any comment, or had anything to say to their victims. They did not

Watch the perp runs, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Raw Video of Philly Gay Bash Suspects Leaving Police Station After Posting Bail: VIDEO" »


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